By Wael Abdelgawad for IslamicSunrays.com
In many verses of the Quran the human being has been described by Allah as being created in the best form, or created perfectly:
“We have indeed created humankind in the best of molds.”
Quran 95:4 (Surat At-Tin, The Fig)
“Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (foetus) lump; then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then we developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the best to create!”
(Quran 23:14) (Surat Al-Mu’minun, The Believers)
“The work of Allah who has perfected everything (He created).
Qur’an 27:88 (An-Naml, The Ant)
“He is the One Who has made perfectly everything He has created: He began the creation of human beings with clay, And made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised: But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit…”
Quran 32:7-9 (As-Sajdah, the Prostration)
These ayaat do not speak only of the human being’s physical form. The perfection of man and woman includes the human spirit; the human will; the human emotional capacity, intellectual drive, innate curiosity, desire to excel, ability to love without bounds; and our yearning for Allah, even when we do not recognize it.
Allah is speaking of you.
Not some random historical human being. Not only Adam and Hawaa. Not only the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Discarding negative self-conceptions
So often we are critical of ourselves. We call ourselves stupid – I do this sometimes when I forget something, smacking my forehead and saying, “Ah, I’m an idiot!”
We find fault with our bodies, sometimes severely so. I certainly have had issues of insecurity surrounding my body. I think all of us do, unless we are Olympic athletes.
Sometimes, when we fail at something, we wonder what’s wrong with us, why can’t we do this or that as well as other people?
Have we ever considered that such negative self-conceptions contradict our faith?
Aren’t we Muslim? Don’t we believe in Allah, and in the Quran? Yes? Then we must believe that we were created perfectly. We were created by the Master Creator who does not make errors.
Allah made no mistakes when He made you.
Your spirit is perfect, your soul is perfect, your mind is perfect, your heart is perfect, and even your body is perfect.
Allah says that He breathed into us something of His spirit! Do we realize how immense that is, how profound, how awesome? Allah the Eternal, The First and The Last, The Majestic, The Omnipotent, has breathed a part of His spirit into Bani Adam, this little two-legged creature of clay, and made us perfect. Me, you, our children and friends, our neighbors and co-workers, and even drug addicts, thieves, torturers and tortured, abusers of every stripe, and everyone walking this earth, believers and disbelievers, were all created perfect in every way. It’s hard to wrap our minds around that. But we must accept it as an article of faith.
In case we have any doubt, let’s look at the ayah above from Surat At-Tin again, but this time with the preceding verses included:
“By the fig and the olive, and the Mount Sina, and this city of peace (Makkah), We have indeed created humankind in the best of molds.”
Allah is declaring an oath by some of the most powerful symbols in existence (an explanation of these symbols is a matter for another article) that humankind was created in the best of molds. When Allah swears in this way it is because He wants to you sit up and open your mind to what is being said; to accept it wholeheartedly and draw it into your chest; and not to have an atom of doubt.
Of course that doesn’t mean that everything you do is perfect. It refers to your capacities, your potential. You were created without flaw, with a pure soul imbued with fitra, a powerful mind, and a body whose magic is still not understood by modern science. You are perfectly capable of fulfilling every obligation that Allah has laid on you; of bearing any burden that is laid on your shoulders; and of achieving any noble dream that Allah has placed in your heart.
What does it mean for us?
So what does that mean for me and you to see ourselves as perfect? I am asking seriously and rhetorically. What does it mean when we can’t fall back on self-pity? What does it mean when we are no longer allowed to view ourselves as flawed?
What does it mean when we have to accept that we can achieve any “crazy dream” that may smolder in our hearts? What does it mean when we look at ourselves in the mirror and see perfect, beautiful faces, no matter the shape of our features? What does it mean when we realize that we have within ourselves the capacity to reach the same heights of imaan (faith) as the sahabah, or the same level of intellectual rigor as Imam Al-Bukhari or Sheikh ibn Taymiyyah, or the same purity and unwavering trust as Sayyidna Maryam? (may Allah be pleased with her).
Do we begin to see that they were simply human beings who acknowledged the perfection with which Allah created them? They strove their utmost to live up to that perfection, placing no boundaries or limitations upon themselves. They were not extraordinary people in their creation; they were only extraordinary because they accepted Allah’s words and thrust themselves utterly into the river of the Quran (or in Maryam’s case, immersed herself completely in tawakkul [trust in Allah], and taqwa [consciousness of Allah], allowing themselves to expand to fill the capacity of the flawless mold that Allah created them in, and refusing to allow themselves to be defined or demeaned by anyone else’s opinion. Nor did they allow themselves to be mentally or spiritually diminished or damaged by the harsh circumstances of life.
We have the same option. You, me, all of us.
You are perfect, whether you admit it or not. Go with it. Live up to it. It’s not a burden but a liberty. It is the freedom to be who Allah put you on this earth to be. It’s the freedom to dream and achieve without the chains of self-doubt or self-deprecation. It’s the freedom to accept yourself, love yourself, and allow yourself to love others fee-sabeel-illah, in Allah’s cause, and to live a full life of meaning and worth.